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Old 01-21-2007, 09:10 PM   #330
Shade of Carn Dûm
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Just like a scarecrow in the planting fields!

That was Brenna’s fleeting thought as she watched Rôg crumple to the ground. It was only a momentary consideration, though, as she hurried forward with several other of the other women toward the fallen man.

‘Catch and bind them!’ she heard the slaver who’d clubbed Rôg shout. ‘No!’ she heard a loud voice cry out. Her own voice, she realized as she raised her sharpened stave in her hands to fend off the approaching slavers. Gwenith and Nia darted out from behind her, scrambling forward to get close to where Rôg lay.

There were loud shouts to either side of Brenna now as others of the women yelled out their anger at the slavers. ‘You’ll never take us back, you sons of dogs!’ The women rushed forward as the two girls dragged Rôg’s limp body to what makeshift safety the scrubby bushes would afford him.

The ranks of the women swelled as the cries against the three slavers grew louder. With a bravery born of anger, the group coalesced into a wrathful army, rattling their sticks at the would-be captors. There were far more of them than the horsed trio. But number and heightened emotion could only last so long against men trained in fighting, in murder, in the hunting of others of their own kind.

Brenna was one of the oldest of the women. She struck out at the slaver with her sharpened stick, drawing blood from his thigh where the sharp point of it pierced his flesh. She fell to the slaver’s sword; his heavy, fatal blows fueled by his anger at her boldness, her temerity. Nia and Gwenith ran forward to throw themselves between her and the man’s blade. They, too, were cut down.

‘Hold!' came the cry from one of the men. ‘We need them alive if we’re to sell them. Dead, they do us no good.’ He sheathed his blade, trading it for his club and net. In like manner his two henchmen put up their bows and their own swords. Urging their mounts onward, they trampled the three fallen women and began to swing their clubs at the others that still stood clustered on the small field. The blows from the slavers’ clubs were glancing, just enough to knock the women down. Once downed, the slavers threw their nets in an effort to entangle, to capture them.

The women were soon in disarray. Panic overtook their boldness. Panic fueled by fear. Some of the younger children, the littler ones cried and screamed as they watched their mothers struck with the clubs. They ran toward where their mothers lay and were themselves caught up like little birds in the nets.

‘Get them! Round up the rest!’ shouted the lead horseman once again.

Like frightened animals, the remainder of the women grabbed up their children, and those who were childless took up those little ones who stood crying in the flying dust. They ran, as fast as their legs would carry them from the hunters.....splitting up into small groups of twos and threes, running wildly in many different directions.

The three slavers, smug in their confidence they would prevail, split off from each other to pursue their separate quarry.

Last edited by Undómë; 01-23-2007 at 02:46 AM.
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